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Centennial History of 
Pleasant Grove Methodist Church 

Clarence W. G-riffin 





1838 — 1938 

Compiled By 

County Historian, Rutherford County- 
Member North Carolina Historical Commission 

Published By 



REV. ROBERT G. TUTTLE, Chairman ox officio 






1838 — 1938 

Compiled By 

County Historian, Rutherford County 
Member North Carolina Historical Commission 

Published By 


REV. ROBERT G. TUTTLE, Chairman ex officio 







Sch. R. 


It is very significant that this narrative of a centuiy of Methodism 
should be presented at this particular time. Pleasant Grove's Centennial 
year coincides with one of Methodism's greatest events. In May, 1738, 
John Wesley, attending a humble meeting in Aldersgate street in London, 
was converted, an event that doubtless attracted but scant attention at the 
moment, but one that was destined to move a world and revive a formal 
and dying Christianity. One hundred years later, Pleasant Grove was 
founded, another event that was of only momentary interest. But the 
passing years have proven both events to have been of mom.entous impor- 
tance; one of a world-wide scope, another on almost a sftate-wide scalo. 
Pleasant Grove has exerted a tremendous influence within the councils of 
the church in Western North Carolina — an influence entirely out of pro- 
portion to its numerical membership. She is truly the mother of Metho- 
dism in this particular section. Five generations of Rutherford county 
folk have left her sacred portals to carry the banner of Methodism from 
the Catawba across the Blue Ridge. Hundreds of Pleasant Grove members 
have made of religion a real, vitalizing factor in their daily lives and in 
their communities. 

This pamphlet is presented with the hope that it will serve the 
purpose of preserving for posterity some of the names of the founders of 
this church. The deplorable lack of official church records makes the task 
almost an impossibility. We can only catch glimpses of these staunch 
pillars of the church now and then through the ,shadowy lights of legend 
and oral recital, and leave conjecture to fill the spaces in their careers. 

The compiler of this pamphlet has a particular interest in Pleasant 
Grove and its glorious history. Although not now a member of this church, 
he is the fourth generation of his family who have held membership here. 
His great-grandparents, the Hon. William L. Griffin and wife, Elizabeth 
(Suttle) Griffin, were charter members, joining in 183|8. His grand- 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Loren W. Griffin, were likewise members here. 
His father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Griffin, and the compiler have 
held membership here. And with that record, there are others today who 
are the fifth and sixth generations of their farnilies whq have continuously 
held membership at Pleasant Grove. 

Forest City, N. C. 
April 22, 1938 P 6 ^ 7 7 



Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, the subject of this sketch, 
is located one mile west of Forest Citj^ 
North Carolina, in Rutherford County, 
and on U. S. Highway No. 74 (Charlotte 
to Asheville). 

[: ■ ,i//.j -ri'^' 


The members and the pastor of Pleasant Grove church 
are deeply indebted to Clarence W. Griffin for the preparation 
of this most interesting Centennial History of our church. As 
you turn through the pages of this pamphlet the interesting 
past of a hundred years will arise and live again in your minds. 
These beloved founders and leaders in the growth of this grand 
old church still live and are now carrying on in God's greater 

Just for a moment let us look at the Pleasant Grove of 
today standing as she does upon the generous foundations of 
the past. Pleasant Grove is now an independent church sup- 
porting and receiving the entire service of her own minister. 
The congregation looks with just pride upon its splendid brick 
parsonage. In commemoration of her one hundredth birthday 
we wish to present to Pleasant Grove church a fine Church 
School building so that she may continue to carry on her great 
work with the youth of the community. This building will be 
built as a memorial to our great christian friend, the late 
Guy B. Howard. The G. B. Howard Memorial Educational 
Building is our Centennial project. We are confident that 
those who loved brother Howard and who love Pleasant Grove 
are going to be most generous in their support of this cause 
which is dedicated to the promotion of God's Kingdom in our 

May we stand in reverence of the sacred past, labor to- 
gether with our God in the living present, and with a radiant 
faith in the Kingdom of Christ look confidently into the years 
ahead. Thus Pleasant Grove shall continue to go forward. 

R. G. TUTTLE, Pastor 

Forest City, N. C. 
April 25, 1938 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


Representatives of the Quakers and The Chiuch of England, or 
Established Church, were the first to attempt religious work in North 
Carolina. They were followed soon afterwards by the Baptists. This 
denomination had four churches in the State in 1755. Presbyterianisni 
was introduced into North Carolina with the coming of the Scotch-Irish 
in 1736-60, and by 1768 they had three or four congregations in the State. 

The organization of American Methodism and that of the United 
States government were practically coincident. Ministers of that denomi- 
nation penetrated the wilds of North Carolina as early as 1772, and one 
congregation was organized two years later. In 1776 there was reported 
nearly 700 Methodists in the State. 

Up to 1800 there was marked religious development in Rutherford 
county, considering its remoteness and unsettled condition. Within the 
present bounds of Rutherford county there were, at the close of the 
century one Presbyterian church, two Baptist churches and one Methodist 
church, a total of four churches, or if Hopewell Methodist church is 
considered, which wa« organized in 1800, there were five churches, serving 
the scattered population of the county. 

Brittain church was organized in 1768. Bills Creek Baptist church 
was next organized, in 1785, followed in 1787 by the organization of 
Mountain Creek Baptist church. Oak Grove Methodist church was organ- 
ized in 1792, and Hopewell Methodist church in 1800. Pisgah and Wes- 
ley's Chapel churches were organized two year.-, later, in 1802. 
Wesley's Chapel was first called Walnut Grove. These seven churches 
might well be called the mothers of their respective denominations in 
Rutherford county and Western North Carolina. 

Methodism was probably introduced into the section west of the 
Catawba river as early as 1780. The Yadkin circuit at that time possibly 
embraced all the territory from the headwaters of the Dan and Uwharrie 
rivers westward to the French Broad and Nolichucky, so there was very 
little organization, if any, west of the Catawba prior to 1787, on account 
of the large circuit. R. J. Miller had been sent in 1786 as a missionary 
to occupy this territory and to form a circuit in the County of Lincoln; 
but coming into this section he found a large number of Germans and began 
to act as their pastor, and did no active work as a Methodist. 

Daniel Asbury, with the assistance of John McGee in 1789, and 
Jessie Richardson in 1790, were sent to form the Lincoln circuit, which 
embraced Lincoln, Rutherford and Burke with portions of Mecklenburg 
and Cabarrus counties in North Carolina, and York district in South Caro- 

lina, and that portion of the Spartanburg and Union districts which lie 
north of the Pacclet river. It took the name of Union circuit in 1793, 
which was retained until 1805, when it was again called Lincoln, and 
later Rutherfordton. 

In 1787 a number of Methodists from Virginia moved into Lincoln 
county and settled on the Catawba river. When Daniel Asbury and John 
McGee entered upon their work of forming the Lincoln circuit they went 
first to a colony of Methodists and organized a church. For two years 
they w^orshipped in a grove, or private homes, but in 1791 they erected 
a building which was the first Methodist church in the State west of the 
Catawba river. This wag Rehobeth church. It was a small log house, 
with a shed on one side for the colored people. The present building is 
the third to be erected at that place; it was erected in 1891, just one 
hundred years after the first one was built. 

^fc- % I" l'^94 the leading male members of the church consulted together 
^ and agreed to hold a camp meeting for a number of days and nights. 
The meeting was accordingly appointed and conducted by Daniel Asbury, 
assisted by three others. The success of the camp meeting led to the 
appointment of another the following year. By 1800 the idea had spread 
over nearly all of North Carolina. The first camp meeting held in Ruth- 
erford county was in 1802 "about eight miles from the court house." 
Rev. James Jenkins says: "The same power attended this meeting; thou- 
sands were present, many poor sinners felt the power of God and were 
raised up to testify that he had forgiven their sins." Thomas L. Douglas, 
Daniel Asbury and several Presbyterian ministers assisted in this meeting. 

Prior to this Bishop Asbury traveled over the circuit and preached 
at many points. During his itinerary he preached on two or three occa- 
sions in Rutherford county. 

Within the next few years camp meetings Avere held annually in 
nearly every circuit in the State. Many of them have long since been 
discontinued, but Lincoln county still holds her summer encampments and 
thousands attend from many states. 

^ In the early days of Methodism these camp meetings brought 

i together large congregations and helped to concentrate public thought on 
religion. The results achieved could not have been had from any other 
method, from the fact that the country was so sparsely settled. These 
encampments did more for the enlarging and building the denomination 
than anything else since that time. 

In 1790 the Lincoln circuit appears in the list of appointments with 
Daniel Asbury and Jessie Richardson as pastors. Enoch George was an 


assistant to Asbury but his name does not appear. The circuit had finally 
been formed, but not without enduring many hardships and persecutions. 
The early minister had to climb some of the most stupendous mountains in 
America; descend valleys, swim rivers, wade through mud and find his way 
through pathless, vinmarksd forests of Western North Carolina. He had 
to preach to mountaineers, a people confirmed in the principles of Calvin- 
ism, the very hardest cases in the catalog of sinners. Many of the people 
regarded not only the Methodist minister, but all preachers, as intruders, 
and they met hostility on every hand. An incident occurring in this 
county in 1789 v/ill show something of the opposition and persecution met. 
A ruffian band seized Daniel Asbury and hurried him to trial before 
Jonathan Hampton, a justice of the peace and a gantleman of intelligence, 
at Gilberttown. "What crime has been committed by Mr. Asbury," asked 
the magistrate, "that you have thus arrested him and brought him in the 
presence of an officer of the law?" "He is going about evei'ywhere through 
the country preaching and he has no authority to do so. We believe he 
is nothing but an imposter and we have brought him before you that you 
may do something with him and forbid him to preach any more in the 
future," responded the leader for the rest. "Why, does he make tho 
people who go to hear him preach any worse than they were before?" fur- 
ther asked the magistrate. "We don't know what he does," was the 
answer, "but he oiight not to preach." "Well," replied the magistrate, 
"if he makes people no worse, the probability is he makes them better; 
so I will release him and let him try it again." 

Bishop Asbury made this entry in his diary in 1795, regarding this 
section of the Lincoln circuit: "My body is weak and so is my faith for 
this pait of the vineyard . . . This country improves in cultivation, wick- 
edness, stills and mills; a prophet of strong drink would be more accept- 
able to many of these people." 

Despite Bishop Asbury's gloomy views, the Lincoln circuit was 
rapidly growing in numbers since its formation, for in 1792 four hundred 
and fifty-three white and thirty-nine colored members were reported. 

The Catawba, Cherokee and Creek Indians were skulking along the 
rivers and in the mountain coves watching the encroachments of the "pale- 
face" men. The settlers often carried their rifles ready to protect against 
the wild beasts and prowling savages. In this region the minister of the 
gospel hunted up the haidy settlers in their forest homes and proclaimed 
the gospel to groups of wondering hearts. 


Pleasant Grove Methodist church had its inception in 1838, just 
one hundred years after John Wesley's revitalizing experience in Alders- 
gate Street in London. As we observe the bicentennary of Wesley's con- 
version, ■which revived a dying Christianity and resulted in the founding 
of Methodism, it is appropriate that we observe the centenary of the 
founding of Pleasant Grove. 

From Wesley's experience came Methodism. From Pleasant Grove 
Methodism spread out over Rutherford county and Western North Caro- 
lina, and this venerable church may well be called the "Mother of Metho- 
dism" in this section, just as Wesley was the father of a world-wide 
Christian order. 

Little is known of the actual founding of Pleasant Grove. Dr. 
Philip Grose, a native of Germany, settled about 1790 in Lincoln county, 
coming to that section with the hordes of German immigrants from that 
section around Gettysburg, Pa. He resided in Lincolnton several years, 
and on January 9, 1811, he married Miss Priscilla Robinson. Dr. Grose, 
in common with the other German settlers, was an adherent of German 
Lutheran church. A few years after his marriage he removed to Ruther- 
ford county, selected a home site about one mile south of where Pleasant 
Grove now stands, and built a large, commodious two-story home. The old 
house is still standing, although dilapidated and weather-worn, being one 
of the oldest homes in Cool Springs township. 

Dr. Grose, a practicing physician, amassed considerable property, 
consisting principally of real estate and slaves. He was widely known and 
beloved as a physician and a good neighbor. 

Dr. Grose's wife was a Methodist. She noted the need of a local 
Methodist church in this section, which was not served by a church of 
any denomination. At her urging. Dr. Grose bought a plot of ground from 
John Rogers and with his slaves the first church building was erected. 
It was a large, one-room pine log structure, the logs being hswn from 
large forest pines, cut from the heavily-timbered tiact on which the church 
was erected. The building stood on approximately the same site as the 
present church. 

Pleasant Grove was for many years a part of the Rutherfordton 
circuit, which was included in the South Carolina Conference until 1870. 

In the early days the circuit rider was unable to make more than 
three or four rounds each year, and local pastors or supplies, filled the 
pulpit instead. Each church in the charge had in nearly every instance 
one supply and sometimes as many as three or four local preachers. From 
this group of local preachers and supplies were many who later themselves 
became ministers of the gospel. In fact, this group furnished the sole 
recruiting agency for filling the ministerial ranks, since there were few 


educational qualifications for the ministry. Those called to preach first 
began as local ministers or supplies. 

After the establishment of the fii'st church at Pleasant Grove in 
1838 the membership grew rapidly from a few members to a large congre- 
gation within a few years. 

Following the example set by the Pi'esbyterians, the church for 
many years served a dual purpose — that of furnishing to its members 
educational facilities as well aa religious education. The members fre- 
quently brought their spelling books, arithmetics and slates to church with 
them, and in this manner many were taught their three "R's." These 
classes were prevalent in the summer months, since the church had no 
fireplace inside. During the winter months a large bon-fire was lighted 
outside. The members would warm by this blaze and then go inside for 
the preaching services. 

Wh-n founded, Pleasant Grove was a member of the Rutherfordton 
circuit, Lincoln district of the South Carolina Conference. The Ruthei- 
fordton circuit was transferred to the Shelby district of the South Carolina 
district in 1859. In 1870 the remaining portion of North Carolina, included 
in the South Carolina Conference, was transferred to the North Carolina 
Conference. Twenty years later the Western North Carolina Conference 
was formed. Pleasant Grove was then a member of the Morganton district, 
and so remained until 1917 when she was transferred to the Marion district. 


The following is a list of pastors of the Pleasant Grove Methodist 
church, including presiding elders of the district of which the church was 
a constituent member: 

1838 — Abel Hoyle, pastor; presiding elder. 

1839 — Campbell Smith, pastor; presiding elder. 

1840 — pastor; presiding elder. 

1841 — Archibald B. McGilvary, pastor; presiding elder. 

1842 — pastor; W. A. Gamewell, presiding elder. 

1843 — pastor; W. A. Gamewell, presiding elder. 

1844 — W. A. McSwain, pastor; W. A. Gamewell, presiding elder. 

1845 — -W. A. McSwain, pastor; W. A. Gamewell, presiding elder; Campbell 

Smith, supply; Jesse Sullans, local preacher. 
1846 — D. G. McDaniel, pastor; W. A. Gamewell, presiding elder; Campbell 

Smith, supply; Jesse Sullans, James Arthur, Carter Burnett, John 

Koone, E. L. Stephens, local preachers. 
1847 — John A. Porter, pastor; A. M. Shipp, presiding elder; Campbell Smith, 

supply; James Arthur, Carter Burnett, John Koone, L. Wood, local 

1848 A. H. Richardson, pastor; A. M. Foster, presiding elder; Abner Ei'win, 

junior pastor; C. Smith, supply; L. Wood, Carter Burnett, local 


1849 S. D. Lang, pastor; A. M. Foster, presiding elder; C. Burnett, L. 

Wood, J. T. Miller, I. W. Vandine, local preachers. 


1850— -J. R. Pickett, pastor; A. M. Foster, presiding elder; A. M. Rush, 
junior pastor; I. W. Vandine, J. T. Miller, local preachers. 

1851 — P. F. Kistler, pastor; H. H. Durrant, presiding elder; I. W. Vandine, 
J. T. Miller, local preachers. 

1852 — P. F. Kistler, pastor; H. H. Durrant, presiding elder; D. May, junior 
pastor; I. W. Vandine, J. T. Miller, H. Haynes, local preachers. 

1853 — J. H. Robinson, pastor; H. H. Durrant, presiding elder; I. W. Van- 
dine, J. T. Miller, H. Haynes, local preachers. 

1854 — J. H. Robinson, pastor; H. H. Durrant, presiding elder; G. H. Wells, 
junior pastor; J. T. Miller, local preacher; C. Smith, supply. 

1855 — R. P. Franks, pastor; J. W. Kelly, presiding elder; G. R. Andrews, 

junior pastor; C. H. Wells, local preacher. 
1856 — P. F. Kistler, pastor; J. W. Kelly, presiiding elder; J. Holmes, 

assistant pastor; G. H. Wells, local preacher. 
1857— P. F. Kistler, pastor; J. W. Kelly, presiding elder; G. H. Wells, 

local preacher. 
1858 — Abner Erwin, pastor; J. W. Kelly, presiding elder; W. Bowman, 

junior pastor. 
1859 — J. S. Nelson, pastor; H. C. Parsons, presiding elder; J, D, Carpenter, 

local preachei'. 
1860 — J. S. Ervin, pastor; H. A. C. Walker, presiding elder; J. D. Car- 
penter, N. K. Melton, A. Hamby, G. W. Humbert, local preachers. 
1861 — J. S. Er-vin, pastor; H. A. C. Walker, presiding elder; Allen Hamby, 

local preachei". 
18G2 — W. W. Jones, pastor; H. A. C. Walker, presiding elder; Allen Hamby, 

local preacher. 
1863 — W. W. Jones, pastor; W. H. Fleming, presiding elder; Allen Hamby, 

local preacher. 
1864 — Jas. S. Ervin, pastor; W. H. Fleming, presiding elder; Allen Hamby, 

local preacher. 
1865 — Jasi. S. Ervin, pastor; W. H. Fleming, presiding elder; Allen Hamby, 

L. C. White, H. Lomas, local preachers. 
1866^-Daniel May, pastor; W. H. Fleming, presiding elder; J. P. DePass, 

assistant pastor. 
1867 — Daniel May, pastor; R. P. Franks, presiding elder; A. Hamby, IocmI 

preacher; L. C. Whits, local missionary. 
1868 — ^V. A. Sharpe, pastor; R. P. Franks, presiding elder; A. M. Long, 

local preacher; D. May, supernumerary; L. C. White, missionary. 
1869 — V. A. Sharpe, pastor; R. P. Franks, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 

A. M. Long, local preachers; L. C. White, missionary. 
1870 — V. A. Sharpe, pastor; R. P. Franks, presiding elder; T. P. England, 
junior pastor; C. Burnett, J. P. DePass, A. M. Long, local preachers. 
1871 — V. A. Sharpe, pastor; E. W. Thompson, presiding elder; J. P. De- 
Pass, local preacher; T. P. England, junior pastor; Carter Burnett, 
D. H. Stimpson, Columbus Mission. 


1872— W. D. Lee, pastor; E. W. Thompson, presiding elder; Carter Bur- 
nett, local preacher; D. H. Stinipson, Columbus Mission. 

1873 — ^W. D. Lee, pastor; Samuel Learde, presiding elder; W. W. Womack, 
Columbus Mission. 

1874 — Samuel Learde, pastor; L. S. Burkhead, presiding- elder; Carter 
Burnett, local preacher; Edwin Rowland, Columbus Mission. 

1875 — Samuel Learde, pastor; L. S. Burkhead, presiding elder; C. Bur- 
nett, J. B. Carpenter, N. S. Norton, Columbus Mission; J. T. Little- 
john, L. P. Columbus Mission. 

1876 — Samuel Loarde, pa'^tor; R. G. Barrett, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
J. B. Carpenter, Columbus Mission, J. T. Littlejohn, Columbus 

1877 — G. F. Rounds, pastor; R. G. Barrett, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
local preacher. 

1878 — ^G.' F. Rounds, pastor; J. S. Nelson, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
local preacher. 

1879 — R. F. Bumpass, pastor; J. S. Nelson, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
local preacher. 

1880 — R. F. Bumpass, pastor; J. S. Nelson, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
1881 — J. C. Hartsell, pastor; H. T. Hudson, presiding elder; S. M. Davi.s. 
assistant pastor. 

1882 — G. W. Ivey, pastor; H. T. Hudson, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 
local preacher. 

1883 — J. T. Abernathy, pastor; H. T. Hudson, presiding elder. 

1884 — J. T. Abernathy, pastor; H. T. Hudson, presiding elder; C. Burnett, 

local preacher. 
1885 — T. J. Dailey, pastor; M. L. Wood, presiding elder; C. Burnett, local 

1886 — T. J. Dailey, pastor; M. L. Wood, presiding elder; C. Burnett, local 

1887 — D. A. Watkins, pastor; M. L. Wood, presiding elder. 
1888 — G. B. Perry, pastor; Jno. R. Brooks, presiding elder. 
1889 — C. G. Little, pastor; Jno. R. Brooks, presiding elder. 
1890 to 1899 — Names of pastors not immediately available. 
1899-1900 — W. LeGette, pastor; C. G. Little, presiding elder. 
1900-1902 — L. L. Smith, pastor; C. G. Little, presiding elder. 
1902-1903 — L. L. Smith, pastor; T. E. Wagg, presiding elder. 
1903-1905 — ^W. O. Goode, pastor; J. H. West, presiding elder. 
1905-1906 — W. E. Abernethy, pastor; J. H. West, presiding elder. 
1906-1907 — A. R. Surratt, pastor; J. H. West, presiding elder. 
1907-1908 — J. C. Mock, pastor; C. F. Sherrill, presiding elder . 
1908-1909 — J. C. Mock, pastor; R. M. Hoyle, presiding elder. 
1909-1912 — J. F. Moser, pastor; R. M. Hoyle, presiding elder. 
1912-1913 — J. F. Moser, pastor; J. E. Gay, presiding elder. 


1913-1916 — J. A. Bowles, pastor; J. E. Gay, presiding elder. 
1916-1917 — J. A. Bowles, pastor; Parker Holmes, presiding elder. 
1917-1918 — W. T. Albright, pastor; Parker Holmes, presiding elder. 
1918-1920 — W. L. Dawson, pastor; Parker Holmes, presiding elder. 
1920-1921 — Parker Holmes, pastor; D. M. Litaker, presiding elder. 
1921-1924 — Parker Holmes, pastor; Z. Paris, presiding elder. 
1924-1925 — W. R. Ware, pastor; Z. Paris, presiding elder. 
1925-1926 — W. R. Ware, pastor; E. O. Cole, presiding elder. 
1926-1929 — J. B. Tabor, Jr., pastor; E. O. Cole, presiding elder. 
1929-1931 — W. A. Barber, pastor; E. W. Fox, presiding elder. 
1931-1933 — W. R. Kelly, pastor; E. W. Fox, presiding elder. 
1933-1935 — W. R. Kelly, pastor; P. W. Tucker, presiding elder. 
1935-1937 — R. G. Tuttle, pastor; P. W. Tucker, presiding elder. 
1937- — R. G. Tuttle, pastor; J. W. Moore, presiding elder. 



By A. C. MOORE in 

Methodist News Herald, Sept. 25, 1925 

It is generally known that Dr. P. H. Grose was the principal founder 
of Pleasant Grove church. It is said that Dr. Grose came to this county 
from Lincolnton, N. C, in 1832. He was a member of the Lutheran 
church but Mrs. Grose was a Methodist and as there were no Lutheran 
chuiches in this locality Dr. Grose's interest was centered in the Metho- 
dist church. He. with the help of his pastor and others, went to work and 
erected the first Pleasant Grove church building. 

The house was built of forest pine timber most of which was hand 
hewn about twelve inches wide. The church was 24 x 30 feet in size and 
was used for church services until 1875. 

Dr. and Mrs. Grose were faithful attendants of the church and 
were pleasant people to associate with. Their influence in the community 
was a great blessing to young and old. It was said that Mrs. Gross had 
a place out in the grove near her home where she went daily to pray. 
Dr. Grose owned and operated a mill and his Christian influence was 
felt among the customers at his mill. 

These are the names of some of the charter members of Pleasant 
Grove church: Mrs. P. H. Grose, Mr. and Mrs. George Moore, Mr. and 
Mrs. Basil Bostic, Mr. and Mrs. Andy Eaves, Betsy Hill, Mr. and Mrs. 
William L. Griffin, Mr. and Mrs. Andy Harmon, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Pad- 
gett and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Padgett. These were indeed a band of faith- 
ful Christian workers. 

In June, 1869, Rev. V. A. Sharpe held a revival service in the good 
old log church. It was continued three weeks and was a glorious meeting. 
A large number of young people and some older ones were converted and 
restored to the perfect faith in Christ. About forty or fifty members 
were added to the church. After this revival many new faces were seen in 
the congregation. Some of the older ones had gone and new ones came 
in. The following are some of the older members of the congregation: 
Mr. and Mrs. Hiles Grose, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Grose, Mr. and Mrs. 
Andy Hudlow, Mr. and Mrs. Anson Webber, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Padgett, 
Mr. and Mrs. Mote Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Young, Mr. and Mrs. 
Martin Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Eaves, Mr. and Mrs. Guilford Eaves, 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Moore, Mr. and Mrs. John Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Frank 
Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Barney King, Mr. and Mrs. Nile Butler, Mr. and Mrs. 
Jacob Lowrance and Mr. and Mrs. Reinhardt. 

It was indeed a pleasure to go to Pleasant Grove and see this group 
of men seated on an old chestnut log that lay in front of the house or on 
one that lay by a post oak in the grove. These men would come early 


and sit for hours and discuss the current news, their crops and would 
sometimes tell some jokes. It was a social as well as a religious gathering- 
When the preacher would arrive at the church and dismount, it would 
often seem that he could hardly stand, he had ridden so far, and perhaps 
m the cold. He would hitch his horse, join the group of men, shake hands 
witn every one and then join in the conversation for awhile. Finally he 
would remind the group that it was time for services and they would all 
enter the church. The women usually gathered in the church and spent 
a social hour before the services. After preaching the pastor would go 
home with some member of the congregation for dinner and then usually 
ride ten miles or more to reach his next appointment that night. 

In 1838 Dr. P. H. Grose bought one acre of land and gave same to 
the church. 

The second church, the framed wood building, was built in 1875. 
The membership at that time was about one hundred and thirty. The 
following were members of the building committee: Harrison Grose, Hiles 
Grose, Martin Butler, John and Frank Moore, and James Young. They, 
with their pastor and others, built the church. 

In 1876 Mote Carpenter bought one-half acre of land and gave it 
to the church to be used for a cemetery. Mrs. Mote Carpenter was buried 
in 1876 and was the first one to be laid to rest in the church cemetery. 
The next bodies to be placed in the cemetery were those of Horace Tucker 
Royster, John Young and Mrs. Harrison Grose. 

It seemed that more interest was shown in the church and that we 
had more earnest members and preaching during the life of the first two 
churches than we have now. On our regular preaching days the congre- 
gation would often display feeling, shed tears, say "amen," and sometimes 
shout. The people would go to church when they had to ride in wagons, 
ox carts, horseback or on foot. They would walk three or four miles to 
the evening service after working all day. 

Some of the revivals in those days would continue for two or three 
weeks. The services ran as follows: prayer meeting at 10 a. m., preach- 
ing at 11, dinner on the grounds, prayer meeting- at 1, in the woods, the 
men on one s^ide and the women on the other, then preaching again at 2 
and in the evening. The evening services were usually well attended and 
much interest shown. An "experience meeting" was held toward the last 
of the meeting. This day was enjoyable for all. The older people would 
stand and tell how they had been blessed in the meeting, that they loved 
Gud and were on their way to heaven. They would inspire the congre- 
gation and most every one would say a word. The young people would tell 
what the Lord had done for them and every one would feel the love of 
God in their hearts and would be filled with the spirit of brotherly love. 

In 1911, the pastor. Rev. J. F. Moser, called a meeting of the mem- 
bers of the church to see what they thought of erecting a new building. 


The approximate membership at that time was two hundred and eighty. 
They found it necessary to build a new church or repair the old one. They 
decided to build and the following were elected members of the building 
committee: J. P. Williamson, S. B. Young, R. C. Ledbetter, J. R. Hardin, 
G. H. Blanton, J. A, Butler, A. C. Moore and the Rev. J. B. Carpenter 
This committee was organized as follows: A. C. Moore, chairman; J. P. 
Williamson, secretary; G. H. Blanton, treasurer, and Rev. J. B. Carpenter 
and Rev. J. F. Moser, directors. Messrs. Moser and Carpenter selected 
the plan and work was started on the new building. With the help of God 
and the good people the church was completed in about five or six months. 
It took a great struggle to erect thia building and it often seemed that 
it would never be completed and paid for. The building committee were 
often discouraged and felt like giving up and then some help would come 
and they would take new heart. Almost all the members of the church 
worked and paid well, especially the young people, the boyg and girls. The 
church cost about seven thousand. The people in the nearby towns and 
communities helped a great deal. The Methodists and Baptists of Forest 
City helped, also other churches: Tanners Grove, Kistlers Chapel, Ruther- 
fordton, Mt. Hebron, Adaville and Oak Grove. Mr. Pink King, of Shelby, 
made a nice donation to the building fund. A memorial window wasi 
placed in the church by the members for Rev. J. F. Moser, as a token of 
their appreciation for his help in building the church. Rev. J. B. Car- 
penter was a great help in the erection of the building. 

Following are some of the older members of Pleasant Grove church 
at the present time: Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. C. L. 
Williamson, C. L. Moore, W. P. Hardin, Mrs. T. L. Cole, Mr. and Mrs. 
W. H. Carver, Mrs. G. W. Trout, Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Grosie, A. L. Owens, 
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Moore, Mrs. Sarah Harton, Rev. J. B. Carpenter. 

In 1911 Pleasant Grove church bought the Pleasant Grove school 
house lot from County Superintendent B. H. Bridges and the School Board 
of which J. F. Flack was a member. At the same time the church bought 
one acre of land from Joe Robinson for the cemetery. They now own 
about three and cne-half acres of land, registered in 1909 in book 90, 
page 327. 

A home coming or memorial service is held at the church on the 
first Sunday in May each year. This has been the custom for twenty years 
or more and is a very interesting and enjoyable occasion for the older 
members and friends of the church as well as the later members. On 
May 1, 1925, there were a total of three hundred and sixty-eight graves 
in the cemetery. On Memorial Day the graves are decorated and it has 
been said that Pleasant Grove has one of the best, if not the best, kept 
cemeteries in the county. 




In Methodist News Herald, Sept. 25, 1925 

This church is a half-station of Forest City and Pleasant Grove. 
The present pastor, Brother Ware, is getting up the history of the church, 
and appointed me as one of the committee as the oldest member of the 
Methodist church, of the vicinity, and I hereby submit my recollection of 
the church from 1841 with traditions back. 

By common consent, 1838 was the year fixed for the building of 
the church, which was a log church, and that Dr. Phillip Grose donated the 
land whare ths church now stands, and with the neighbors, built the church. 
ft v^as placed on th? Rutherford circuit and was probably one of the twenty- 
one churches and regularly supplied by the pastors of the circuit from year 
to year. Who the first members were I cannot tell, but I know the 
Methodist families, they were Groses, Eaves, Alexanders, Butlers, Daniels 
and others not recalled. 

This church was used to 1875, when it was replaced by a frame 
■church, built in the grove near the church and this church was used to 
1911 when it was supplanted by the beautiful brick church that now 
occupies almost the identical spot of the original church, which is the 
finest and most complete church in the country, in Rutherford countv, 
surrounded by the descendants of Mr. Phillip Grose, George Moors, the 
Alexanders, Butlers and many others who have built and moved into the 
community, and now is a part of Forest City, and known as West End, 
and is looking forward to the day when they will becomo an independeT.t 
station, and the present pastor. Brother Ware, is impressing the people 
witli this early history, and thus encouraging them to come into their 
own, and take their high place in the Methodist church. 

The following persons have been licensed to preach from timo to 
time as memberg from Pleasant Grove church: Andrew Sullins, James 
Arthur, who after the burning of the house known as Burnt Chimney, 
moved to Fingerville, S. C, where he died; Carter Burnett, who was so 
long a resident of Rutherfordton, and who died suddenly in his office, 
respected by all and loved by many; Campbell Smith, who was probably 
a traveling preacher of the South Carolina Conference and located and 
settled on the railroad between Forest City and Alexander; Allen Hamby, 
who was traveling preacher and presiding elder, but located and settled 
in Rutherfordton, and for many years ran a saddle and harness estab- 
lishment; J. T. Miller, the grandfather of the president of the Citizens 
Bank (C. L. Miller), I think moved to Lincolnton where he died; Campbell 
Smith, a son of Campbell Smith, was licensed to preach and joined the 
Western North Carolina Conference and ti-aveled for two or three years 
when his health gave away, and he was discontinued; Avery B. Carjjenter, 
who was licensed to preach, moved to Arkansas, where he ran a farm and 
did supply work from time to time; Everett E0ve«, son of Capt. John 
Eaves, was licensed to preach, and joined the Western North Carolina 
Conference, and traveled for several years, when he located and went West 


and is now a Presbyterian minister; Clarence Butler, a grandson of Martui 
Butler, who was a working member in the church at Pleasant Grove. I 
would like to speak of the early members of the church, of which I knew, 
but perhaps this is not the time or place. 

The cemetery of the church was opened in 187*6 and Mrs. E. M. 
Carpenter was the first one buried there, and it has grown, having one 
Methodist preacher, and the children of two Methodist preachers burisd 

During the years that have passed 7?ince 1838, the church has be?n 
well supplied with pastors, and had a continual growlh, the membership 
has grown and the other work of the church has gone forward with as 
little friction as any church I have ever known. 

Reviewing the growth of the church I may say that the pastors 
were ably assisted in the work there by a number of consecrated local 
preachers: James Ai-thur, Carter Burnett, Andrew Sullins, Campbell Smith 
and among a group of local preachers belonging at other churches were: 
A. Hamby, J. T. Miller, Daniel Johnson, Solomon Daves, Benjamin Hamil- 
ton and J. W. Vandiver. 

Among the revivals held at that church, the most notable one was 
the first, held in 1851, the Kistler revival, as it was known, with H. H. 
Durant, presiding elder, and Paul F. Kistler, pastor, and the records show 
the admissions: 128 white and 58 colored. Kistler was a strong man and 
built up the circuit largely and was loved and honored by the people as 
perhaps few pastors ever were. He took in the deserted portions of the 
work, and as an illustration. Black's Meeting house near Poors Ford had 
been given up to the bats and owls but Kistler went over there and had 
had a good revival and repaired the church and the people recommended 
that the church be named Kistler's Chapel, and thus we have a "Kistlei's 

The second revival was held in 1869, and was in crop time and 
followed a quarterly meeting. Sharp announced at the close of the after- 
noon service that there would be preaching there the next day at 3 o'clock 
and after dismission the brethren came to Sharp and told him it was im- 
possible to have a congi-egation for it was in the midst of crop time, and 
Sharp replied, let those work that have to work, and those that can, let 
them come the next evening and when the hour came the congregation 
was nearly equal to the Sunday congregation. The meeting continued 
for ten days or two weeks, and there were people there, now living, who will 
say that they made their best crops that year and with the least strain of 
labor. Old men joined the church, and Sharp's revival will be remembered 
by many who are now living. 

The third revival was held in 1879, with J. S. Nelson, presiding 
elder, and R. F. Bumpass, pastor in charge. There were about 50 conver- 
sions, and 26 joined at Pleasant Grove. I i / / , / 

This sketch would not be complete without mention of sbnile of the 
laymen of the church, among them were: Jacob Lowraflce, who lived and 
died near Forest City, and who was circuit steward for a number of years. 
Spencer Eaves was a Sunday school superintendent and many others 
occupied official positions that I do not call to mind. 



SUNDAY, MAY 1st, 1938 

10:00 A. M.— Sunday School 

10:50 A. M. — Devotional in Cemetery; Decoration of Graves 

11:00 A. M. — Memorial Sermon Dr. Eugene J. Coltrane 

President of Brevard College 

12 :30 P. M. — Dinner on the Ground. 

2:00 P.M. — Devotional 

Drama "Pleasant Grove Fifty Years Ago" 

Directed by Miss Kate Moore 

Presentation of Guests and Brief Addresses: 

Rev. Charles Trammel Troy, N. C. 

Rev. Chalmers Grose Gastonia, N. G. 

(Both of these ministers have been sent out from Pleasant Grove) 

Presentation of Awards: 

1 To oldest person present in point of years; to oldest church 

member in point of continuous membership; to youngest 
church member and to person traveling greatest number of 

miles to attend services. , 


Date Due 

fEB Z^ im^i: 

ftu z a ,,.-] 

f^ iO 'F*- 

OCT 8 

OCT 3 u 

iyv 1 3 


Form 335. 45M 8-37. 





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